From this day forward: making your wedding more sustainable

Cake from National Wedding Show

By Morwenna Kearns

Wedding season is around the corner: have you bought a hat yet? The average wedding now costs over £27,000 with much of that going on things which – although beautiful and memorable – may only be used for one day. So how can happy couples help make their special day more affordable and sustainable?

Vintage style expert Kate Beavis, curator of the Eclectic Boutique at Manchester's National Wedding Show, offers some advice.

Weddings can often be expensive and perhaps not very sustainable… Can going vintage or DIY help?

YES! My own DIY wedding cost only £3,000 as we were clever with our spend. A DIY bride will make her own decorations, source her own china teacups, hire a venue not always used for weddings – it is a clever way to save money and create the day you want. However, we are firm believers that you should have whatever you want so if you want to spend more money then that is OK too.

A vintage wedding is a unique one, one that is more ethical with British-made dresses that are being recycled, for example. And in many ways it is more 'you' as you are creating a day that reflects your style and personality rather than doing what everyone tells you must do!

Nat Wedding Show Kate Beavis 3

What vintage or DIY trends are you seeing in weddings at the moment?

The festival wedding trend seems to be here to stay – think boho, long, floaty dresses, stunning tipis, woodland vibes with banquet-style feasts or even a picnic on the lawn.

What resources can brides and grooms use for inspiration or how-tos?

Brides are so lucky these days as there are so many blogs, magazines and fairs to choose from. But they also have Pinterest and Instagram to get ideas from. Our blog, Magpie Wedding, mixes up the alternative trends such as boho, festival and vintage but in a classic way which our brides love.

Nat Wedding Show Kate Beavis 2

It looks like there's a trend for vegan wedding cakes in 2018. Have you seen veganism being reflected more generally in weddings?

Again YES! I am vegan and am so pleased at the rise of vegan cakes (at last I can eat some!). What cake designers are doing are simply recognising different diets and allergies and creating cake that is suitable.

Rather than vegan material, I would suggest there is a rise for ethical weddings. So dresses made locally and not flown in from across the world, flowers hand-grown and picked, natural confetti which adds to the boho trend too – couples care about the environment and the impact we have on it, so if this is important to them, they would naturally carry it through to their wedding day. We will see this more and more as the next generation choose to get hitched and suppliers need to get on board.

You're heading up the Eclectic Boutique at the National Wedding Show in Manchester – what can we expect?

The Eclectic Boutique is an area of handpicked suppliers offering something a little bit more alternative, vintage and eclectic. Think Harry Potter cakes and vintage photo booths!

The Eclectic Boutique will be part of the National Wedding Show in Manchester on March 10th and 11th 2018.

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